As the fallout from the Seattle meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) continues, John Madeley explores some key questions about the free trade that it advocates: Will free trade in food help or hinder the abolition of world hunger? Who benefits first? The poor? Or the transnational corporations? Will free trade help Third World farmers find new international markets? How can countries - North and South, rich and poor - protect their farmers? How can self-sufficiency in food production be achieved? His book exposes the contradiction between Western governments' rhetoric about reducing world poverty and the drive to yet more trade liberalization.
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(198mm x 129mm x 14mm)
Zed Books Ltd
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
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UK Kirkus Review »
Subtitled 'How the poor pay for free trade', this unassuming volume provides a wealth of background information and compelling arguments against the unfettered adoption of free trade, especially when it involves food. It is easy to accept unquestioningly the received wisdom that protectionism leads to world recession and the kind of conditions that in part lead to the Second World War, yet Madeley, a writer and broadcaster specializing in Third World development issues, argues that a blanket approach to importing and exporting food, where the balance of power lies in the hands of a few multinational companies, is potentially fatal to those who would otherwise eke out a living from subsistence farming. The book covers issues such as dumping in developing countries (cheap imports mean that local farmers go out of business), genetically modified crops (leading to lack of biodiversity and an increasing dependence of farmers on corporations), the effect of climate change on small-scale producers, the responsibilities of the IMF, WTO and other organizations and much more. The anti-globalization demonstrations that have marked many international summits in recent months are a telling reminder that globalization has its opponents. Here is a chance to read some of the compelling counter-arguments and form your own opinion. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - John Madeley
John Madeley has been a writer and broadcaster specialising in Third World development and environmental issues for the past twenty years. From 1983 to 1998, he was Editor of the renowned magazine, International Agricultural Development. A contributor to leading British papers including the Observer, the Financial Times and the Independent on Sunday, he has also written for many NGOs including Christian Aid, the Panos Institute, and the Catholic Institute for International Relations. He is the author of several books: * When Aid is No Help: How Projects Fail and How They Could Succeed * Trade and the Poor: The Impact of International Trade on Developing Countries * Land is Life: Land Reform and Sustainable Agriculture (co-editor) * Big Business, Poor Peoples: The Impact of Transnational Corporations on the World's Poor.